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Full text of "Rapid Population Growth Consequences And Policy Implications"

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Moreover, me cenuai pomi 01 me recomrnenaauons is mat mey contemplate the near future—the next 20 years. From a practical point of view, little is gained by proclaiming the virtues of very long-term demographic equilibrium conditions, even if these virtues could be demonstrated uncontestably. Indeed, we see room for harm if such an approach were to usurp the place of considered deliberation by national leaders about needed next steps toward demographic amelioration. A policy approach that proposes an unrealistic goal and threatens disaster if it is not adopted is likely to promote, rather than allay, apathy or opposition.
Governmental and private efforts should be expanded to accelerate the trend toward the smaller family and the sense of individual responsibility toward society.
Planned and coordinated factual campaigns of public education and communication through television, radio, the press, outdoor advertising, voluntary associations, community leaders, and personal explanation by family planning workers are means to accomplish this end.
True freedom to determine family size can be realized only if it is, like all other human freedoms, tempered by the concern of the individual for the rights and interests of others. The essence of the matter is to protect both society and the individual. In this instance society needs protection from the undesirable effects of high fertility and the individual needs protection from ignorance, coercion, and inequitable access to the technical resources of society.
We recommend that many of the social policies of governments include among their objectives that of increasing the desirability of small families.
The attitudes of parents toward family size are most likely to change if the social environment, opportunities, and personal relations are altered in ways that help parents perceive their interest differently.
Policies that increase parents' interest in small families, while at the same time serving other desirable goals, include laws prohibiting child labor; compulsory education and provision of educational facilities; social security, old age insurance, and pensions; employment, educational, and career opportunities for women; improvement in the status of women; improvement in maternal health; and reduction of infant and child mortality.
Other policies, related to methods of financing education and welfare services, allocation of resources and occupancy levels for housing, and various